A blind block foul called against the Saints was a correct application of a gruesome rule

We saw it coming in August 2019. It nodded again on Thursday night, with millions watching the Saints welcome the Cowboys.

With Dallas leading 13-10 in the third quarter and the Saints facing the first and 10 on their own 21, officials called the New Orleans tight end. Garrett Griffin for illegal blind block, as he walked through the lineup to retrieve the Cowboys’ defensive back in blitz Jayron Kearse.

The foul erased an 11-yard gain and resulted in an 11-yard penalty, a 22-yard swing that put the Saints first and 21.

Three games later, the Saints kicked. Four plays later, the Cowboys return Tony pollard Traveled 58 yards for a touchdown. And it was then 20-10 and the lights were almost entirely out.

Fox’s Troy Aikman immediately described it as a “terrible call.” The NFL has kept its head down and its mouth closed on this.

But it is the rule, as bad as it is. Discover our story from the preseason of the first year in which the rule was put in place. As we explained at the time, the mislabeled rule “does not exclude situations where the opponent sees the blow coming” and “it prohibits a blocker from blocking with his helmet, forearm or shoulder while moving in any direction other than towards the opponent’s baseline.

It’s just a bad rule. It’s a rule created by non-footballers looking for ways to reduce the number of big hits in a given game, potentially as part of a larger quest to complete the 17-game push and start the effort. to expand to 18.

When it happened in 2019, the NFL posted the clip to Twitter and defended the appeal. This time it’s crickets in public.

Privately, the league will describe it as a “judgment call” and explain that Walt Anderson and Perry Fewell will examine the film from all angles and then respond to the club with any questions they may have.

Here is a question? When else has this been called up in the past two plus seasons?

The league had previously admitted that the rule was poorly applied in a Bills-Texans playoff game, because the hit from the Buffalo tackle Cody Ford was not “by force”. Last night Griffin applied a helmet-to-helmet blow to Kearse, even though he has others (as he should have) used his hands to do the block. Without the crash of the helmets, it is not a fault.

Again, this is a bad rule. It’s misnamed. Surely it’s not aggressively applied otherwise we’d be writing stories like this more frequently.

The likelihood of it not being consistently applied becomes a huge part of the problem. As one person with extensive NFL experience observed last night, “If it’s a penalty, they literally missed over 20 flags per game because it was a running pro pass.[tection] to block.”

The fact that he was called last night is precisely the sort of thing that makes people think the fix is ​​in place, even if it isn’t. So the best approach for the league would be to correct the blind block rule.

A blind block foul called against the Saints was a correct application of a gruesome rule originally appeared on Professional football discussion

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